Start Your Own Social Network Using BuddyPress

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Posted 4 years ago

Start Your Own Social Network Using BuddyPressFacebook has revolutionized our communication with those near and dear to us. Would you like to start your very own social network? Now you can, thanks to BuddyPress, a WordPress plugin that has turned this desire into a reality. With this plugin, you can create your very own social network within the world’s highly favorable blog framework – WordPress.

BuddyPress allows users to sign-up and create profiles to perform social networking. Just after the creation of their profile, they can post messages, make connections, create and interact in groups and a lot more. The users can easily make a community for their sports team, company, school, etc.

BuddyPress has been improving since its launch in May, 2009. Just a few days ago it received an update in the form of Version 1.8.1. This recent update aimed at making this version of BuddyPress the safest and most flexible version ever.

Before moving further, I would like to point out that it is a free plugin. BuddyPress comes with one free theme that the user can customize. If you wish to install any other theme, you’ll need to lighten up your pockets by spending some cash for the various premium themes that are available.

BuddyPress installation is easy. Manual installation has become a thing of the past. Now, you can add the plugin directly from the WordPress dashboard.

Simplified Installation Process:

Follow these steps for one-minute installation.

1. Log in to your WordPress blog’s admin panel.

2. In the left hand Dashboard Menu Locate: Plugins

3. You will see three options, click on: Add new Plugin

4. In the Search box, type BuddyPress

5. Click on Install Now under BuddyPress (it should be the first option in the searched items)

6. Upon installing it will ask you to Activate the plugin. Click ‘Activate Plugin’.

You can tweak your design and customize the functionality after the installation is complete. This can be done by selecting “Installed Plugins” in the Plugins menu and clicking on Settings under BuddyPress.

Let’s see what’s available in BuddyPress.When you install the plugin, activity streams, user groups, custom profile fields, private messaging and forums get added to your WordPress blog.

Customizable Features at a glance:

Extended profiles lets the users describe themselves and customize their profile as per their discretion.

Activity streams are of three kinds: global, personal, and group activity streams. They feature favoriting, threaded commenting, @mentions and direct posting. Activity streams are backed by full RSS feed and email notification support.

Extensible groups empower the user to break the discussion into particular subjects. This is done by installation of group extension API.

Friend connections allow the user to track the activities of their friends by making connections. Users can also set filters for their friends to keep track of them.

Private messaging is a very essential feature that lets the user indulge in direct conversations. These messages can be sent to multiple recipients.

Site Tracking lets the user track new posts and comments on their blog.

Update: Group Forums feature of the BuddyPress has retired. So, those who need a forum are required to install bbPress.

How to allow new users to register

After you install WordPress and BuddyPress, new users won’t be able to register due to default settings in WordPress. To allow new users to register at BuddyPress, go to the Admin section and select Settings then General. Select ‘Anyone can register’ in front of the Membership option. Don’t forget to click Save.

Refresh your website to check whether the option is turned on. You will notice the text prompting site visitors to create an account, written just above the Username and Password boxes.

Reasons for increased downloads

Want to know why BuddyPress received a good rating by most of the users and the reason for its 1,692,754 downloads (increasing almost daily)? Bringing social networking in a box, the BuddyPress plugin lets users enjoy these benefits:

1. Freedom to customize features and themes.

2. Freedom to migrate to another platform.

3. Full confidence upon privacy issue as the users who haven’t joined Facebook may consider trusting you with their personal information.

We must remember that keeping our expectations high in respect to the success of BuddyPress, and in comparison to Facebook, would be a silly idea.

BuddyPress won’t make us Mark Zuckerberg, but it will help us gain control over our communities and revenue opportunities.

– Ady Sachdeva

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